Chicken Tax

The so-called Chicken tax was a 25% tax on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks imposed in 1963 by the United States under President Lyndon B. Johnson as a response to tariffs placed by France and West Germany on importation of U.S. chicken. The period from 1961–1964 of tensions and negotiations surrounding the issue, which took place at the height of Cold War politics, was known as the ‘Chicken War.’

Eventually, the tariffs on potato starch, dextrin, and brandy were lifted, but the light truck tax is still in place. As an unintended consequence, several importers of light trucks have circumvented the tariff via loopholes, including Ford, which currently imports light trucks as ‘passenger vehicles’ to the U.S. from Turkey and immediately shreds portions of their interiors.

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